Sunday April 21, 2019

Consuming Cocoa May Improve Vitamin D Intake, Says Study

However, the researchers do not recommend consuming large quantities of chocolates

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Eating cocoa may boost your Vitamin D intake: Study. Pixabay

Love chocolates or other products containing cocoa? A new study has found that foods rich in cocoa, such as cocoa butter, cocoa beans, cocoa powder, dark chocolates, may improve your vitamin D intake.

Vitamin D comes in two types — vitamin D2 and D3. While, vitamin D3 is produced in the human skin through exposure to the sun, the rest is ideally consumed through food such as fatty fish, chicken or eggs.

The findings, published in the journal Food Chemistry, revealed that products containing cocoa are indeed a source of vitamin D2. However, the amount varied greatly from food to food.

“This is not surprising as the cocoa content in white chocolate is significantly lower. It confirms our assumption that cocoa is the source of vitamin D2,” said co-author Gabriele Stangl, Professor from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany.

The researchers said that brittle bones and an increased risk of respiratory diseases could be the result of a vitamin D deficiency and cocoa butter and dark chocolate have the highest amount of vitamin D2.

cocoa
A worker holds cocoa beans at SAF CACAO, a export firm in San-Pedro, Ivory Coast, Jan. 29, 2016. VOA

For the study, the research team investigated cocoa and cocoa products to ascertain whether or not it contained the important source of vitamin D.

Cocoa beans were dried after fermentation, placed on mats and exposed to the sun for one to two weeks.

While dark chocolate has a relatively high vitamin D2 content, very little amount of vitamin D was found in white chocolate, the researchers said.

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However, the researchers do not recommend consuming large quantities of chocolates.

“You would have to eat enormous amounts of chocolate to cover your vitamin D2 requirements. That would be extremely unhealthy because of the high sugar and fat content,” Stangl noted. (IANS)

Next Story

High Doses of Vitamin D Can Severely Impact Your Kidney

Calcium levels may get worse before getting better in patients even after cessation of supplements, as vitamin D is fat soluble.

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"Our experience informs us that patients and clinicians should be better informed about the risks regarding the unfettered use of vitamin D," suggested the researchers. Pixabay

In a rare case, a 54-year-old man, after returning from a trip to Southeast Asia where he spent much of his holiday sunbathing, was diagnosed with kidney damage after he took high doses of vitamin D for years.

After referral to a kidney specialist and further testing, it was discovered that the man had been prescribed high doses of vitamin D by a naturopath, who recommended a dose of 8 drops every day, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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Clinicians must be aware of the risks of vitamin D use to limit complications related to hypercalcemia. Pixabay

Over two-and-a-half-years, the patient, who did not have a history of bone loss or vitamin D deficiency, took 8-12 drops of vitamin D daily, totalling 8,000-12,000 IU.

As a result, he had very high levels of calcium in the blood which left him with significant kidney damage.

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400-1000 IU, with 800-2000 IU recommended for adults at high-risk of osteoporosis and for older adults.

“Although vitamin D toxicity is rare owing to a large therapeutic range, its widespread availability in various over-the-counter formulations may pose a substantial risk to uninformed patients,” said Bourne Auguste from the University of Toronto.

Clinicians must be aware of the risks of vitamin D use to limit complications related to hypercalcemia.

vitamin D
“Although vitamin D toxicity is rare owing to a large therapeutic range, its widespread availability in various over-the-counter formulations may pose a substantial risk to uninformed patients,” said Bourne Auguste from the University of Toronto. Pixabay

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Calcium levels may get worse before getting better in patients even after cessation of supplements, as vitamin D is fat soluble.

“Our experience informs us that patients and clinicians should be better informed about the risks regarding the unfettered use of vitamin D,” suggested the researchers. (IANS)